Abbildungen der Seite

1 Band. 'T is in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises us; not to have us thrive in our mystery.

2 Band. I 'll believe him as an enemy, and give over my trade.

1 Band. Let us first see peace in Athens: there is no time so miserable, but a man may be true.

[Exeunt Banditti.
Flav. O you gods !
Is yond' despis’d and ruinous man my lord ?
Full of decay and failing? O monument,
And wonder of good deeds evilly bestow'd !
What an alteration of honour has desperate want made!
What viler thing upon the earth, than friends
Who can bring noblest minds to basest ends?
How rarely does it meet with this time's guise,
When man was wish'd to love his enemies :
Grant, I may ever love, and rather woo
Those that would mischief me, than those that do!
He has caught me in his eye: I will present
My honest grief unto him; and, as my lord,
Still serve him with my life. My dearest master!

TIMon comes forward from his Cave.
Tim. Away! what art thou?

Have you forgot me,

Tim. Why dost ask that? I have forgot all men;
Then, if thou grant'st thou’rt a man, I have forgot thee.

Flav. An honest poor servant of yours.

Then, I know thee not:
I never had honest man about me, I;
All I kept were kpaves, to serve in meat to villains.

Flav. The gods are witness,
Ne'er did poor steward wear a truer grief
For his undone lord, than mine eyes for you.
Tim. What! dost thou weep? -- Come nearer: then,

I love

[ocr errors]


Because thou art a woman, and disclaim'st

Flinty mankind; whose eyes do never give ,
But thorough lust, and laughter. Pity 's sleeping:
Strange times, that weep with laughing, not with weeping!

Flav. I beg of you to know me, good my lord,
T'accept my grief, and, whilst this poor wealth lasts,
To entertain me as your steward still.

Tim. Had I a steward
So true, so just, and now so comfortable?
It almost turns my dangerous nature wild.
Let me behold thy face. Surely, this man
Was born of woman.
Forgive my general and exceptless rashness,
You perpetual-sober gods! I do proclaim
One honest man, - mistake me not, -- but one;
No more, I pray, and he's a steward.
How fain would I have hated all mankind,
And thou redeem'st thyself: but all, save thee,
I fell with curses.
Methinks, thou art more honest now, than wise;
For by oppressing and betraying me,
Thou might'st have sooner got another service,
For many so arrive at second masters,
Upon their first lord's neck. But tell me true,
(For I must ever doubt, though ne'er so sure)
Is not thy kindness subtle, covetous,
If not a usuring kindness; and as rich men deal gifts,
Expecting in return twenty for one?

Flav. No, my most worthy master; in whose breast
Doubt and suspect, alas! are plac'd too late.
You should have fear'd false times, when you did feast:
Suspect still comes where an estate is least.
That which I show, heaven knows, is merely love,
Duty and zeal to your unmatched mind,
Care of your food and living: and, believe it,
My most honour'd lord,
For any benefit that points to me,
Either in hope, or present, I'd exchange

For this one wish,


you had power and wealth To requite me by making rich yourself.

Tim. Look thee, 't is so. Thou singly honest man,
Here, take: the gods out of my misery
Have sent thee treasure. Go, live rich, and happy;
But thus condition'd: thou shalt build from men;
Hate all, curse all; show charity to none,
But let the famish'd flesh slide from the bone,
Ere thou relieve the beggar: give to dogs
What thou deny'st to men; let prisons swallow 'em,
Debts wither 'em to nothing. Be men like blasted woods,
And may diseases lick up their false bloods!
And so, farewell, and thrive.

0! let me stay,
And comfort you, my master.

If thou hat'st
Curses, stay not: fly, whilst thou 'rt bless'd and free.
Ne'er see thou man,
and let me ne'er see thee.

[Exeunt severally.


The Same. Before Timon's Cave.

Enter Poet and Painter. Pain. As I took note of the place, it cannot be far where he abides.

Poet. What 's to be thought of him? Does the rumour hold for true, that he is so full of gold?

Pain. Certain: Alcibiades reports it; Phrynia and Timandra had gold of him: he likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity. 'T is said, he gave unto his steward a mighty


Poet. Then this breaking of his has been but a try for his friends.

Pain. Nothing else; you shall see him a palm in Athens again, and flourish with the highest. Therefore, 't is not amiss, we tender our loves to him, in this supposed distress of his: it will show honestly in us, and is very likely to load our purposes with what they travail for, if it be a just and true report that goes of his having.

Poet. What have you now to present unto him?

Pain. Nothing at this time but my visitation; only, I will promise him an excellent piece.

Poet. I must serve him so too; tell him of an intent that's coming toward him.

Pain. Good as the best. Promising is the very air o' the time: it opens the eyes of expectation: performance is ever the duller for his act; and, but in the plainer and simpler kind of people, the deed of saying is quite out of use. To promise is most courtly and fashionable: performance is a kind of will, or testament, which argues a great sickness in his judgment that makes it.

Enter TIMON, from his Cave. Tim. Excellent workman! Thou canst not paint a man so bad as is thyself.

Poet. I am thinking, what I shall say I have provided for him. It must be a personating of himself: a satire against the softness of prosperity, with a discovery of the infinite flatteries that follow youth and opulency.

Tim. Must thou needs stand for a villain in thine own work? Wilt thou whip thine own faults in other men? Do so; I have gold for thee.

Poet. Nay, let's seek him :
Then do we sin against our own estate,
When we may profit meet, and come too late.

Pain. True:
When the day serves, before black-corner'd night,
Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light.

Tim. I.'ll meet you at the turn. What a god 's gold,
That he is worshipp'd in a baser temple,
Than where swine feed !

"T is thou that rigg'st the bark, and plough'st the foam;
Settlest admired reverence in a slave:
To thee be worship; and thy saints for aye
Be crown'd with plagues, that thee alone obey!
Fit I meet them.

[Advancing Poet. Hail, worthy Timon? Pain.

Our late noble master.'
Tim. Have I once liv'd to see two honest men ?

Poet. Sir,
Having often of your open bounty tasted,
Hearing you were retir'd, your friends fall’n off,
Whose thankless natures - 0, abhorred spirits !
Not all the whips of heaven are large enough –
What! to you,
Whose star-like nobleness gave life and influence
To their whole being ? I am rapt, and cannot cover
The monstrous bulk of this ingratitude
With any size of words.

Tim. Let it go naked, men may see 't the better:
You, that are honest, by being what you are,
Make them best seen, and known.

He, and myself,
Have travell’d in the great shower of your gifts,
And sweetly felt it.

Ay, you are honest men.
Pain. We are hither come to offer you our service.

Tim. Most honest men! Why, how shall I requite you?
Can you eat roots, and drink cold water? no.

Both. What we can do, we 'll do, to do you service.

Tim. You are honest men. You have heard that I have gold; I am sure you have: speak truth; you are honest men.

Pain. So it is said, my noble lord; but therefore
Came not my friend, nor I.

Tim. Good honest men ? - Thou draw'st a counterfeit
Best in all Athens : thou art, indeed, the best;
Thou counterfeit'st most lively.

So, so, my lord.

« ZurückWeiter »